What is carbon offsetting – and does it actually work?

plane over forests
Carbon offsetting can see money invested in tree planting or renewable energy Credit: iStock

If aviation were a country, it would be among the world's top 10 carbon emitters; with the number of flights taken globally reaching a record high in 2018, carrying a total of 4.3 billion passengers.

With climate concerns at the top of the news agenda – thanks, in part, to activists such as Greta Thunberg – tourists are increasingly concerned about how their travel affects the planet.

Here, we look at how the aviation industry, and travellers themselves, have been seeking to offset - that is, neutralise, or cancel out - their carbon footprint, and how effective these efforts really are. 

What is carbon offsetting?

In the broadest sense, carbon offsetting is the act of doing something to negate...

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